Preparations are well underway for the arrival of Late Hon. Roy Biyama, MP this Friday.
Balimo township is momentarily quite with people grieving over their outstanding and visionary leader who died at Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby on the 10th September, 2021.
The people of Middle Fly electorate, public servants, stakeholders and the rest of Western Province have lost their rare leader which he has touched so many people’s lives.
Mourners are busy setting up funeral home (Haus krai), constructing his tomb and general cleanaton within Balimo town starts from Balimo airport.
Hon Biyama, was a member of ruling Pangu Pati, has been an MP since 2002.
They have lost a servant leader, a true man of the people, who has served them faithfully since 2002. He first succumbed to illness after he had scorching blisters from an 8 hour walk on foot in hot, tropical, lowlands in his beloved Middle Fly area when he visited last March.
Hon. Biyama walked on, working for his people where there was no road much like many other rural areas in PNG, and the blister from his long walk, with an existing diabetic conditions, led to illness and his eventual passing.
Hon Biyama joined Pangu Pati in December 2019, after subsequent formation of the new Marape- Davis Government, and had stood by PM Marape till his death.
Late Roy had a long poignant history, he struggled from scratch during his formative years as a child. He grew up in the village where there were lot of criticism from villages especially Christian dominated Community, as he was a child of mixed parentage (separate feature story will be published in the print media regarding his life history).
Biyama was seen as one and has been tirelessly working to implement planned projects funded under the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP).
Middle Fly is the largest and remotest district in Western Province with a landmass of 44,479 square kilometers.
Most of the land mass is covered with swamp and wetlands in the southern part of the district and tropical rain forest in the northern part of the district along the mountain ridges.
The district has a population estimated in 2011 at 63,805 (National Census) scattered throughout the five LLGs of Balimo, Gogodala, Bamu, Lake Murray and Nomad.
All the LLGs are okay accept Nomad LLG has caused perplexity in administration.
Nomad LLG comes under Middle Fly but the Biami and Pari tribes come under the North Fly electorate voting system and vote for North Fly MP while the Samo tribe who are also in Nomad up to Juha come under the Middle Fly electorate and vote in Middle Fly MP.
In it’s active days, the Britten Norman-Islander was the Wings that saved thousands people in the Middle Fly and South Fly districts of Western Province, thanks to a partnership between Central Air Transport and businessman Roy Biyama who later entered Parliament as MP for Middle Fly in 2002.
Close associates, friends and family members brought his story as tribute to him.
He was an “angel” in the story because of his service to remote places and the rescues he made in his time that made the difference in people’s lives.
The gold aspect of the wings relate to money he expended to provide the service. The plane belonged to Central Provincial Government (CPG) when Sir Ted Diro was the Governor of Central Province.
Although they owned the plane, it was hired by Mr Biyama and flown by bush pilot Captain Walter Porusa from Oro Province.
The wings were on his breast but the plane flew, delivering essence services, thus making the benefactor of the whole exercise a virtual angel.
And that’s how they pay tribute.
Late Biyama will be sorely missed by the remote people of Middle and South Fly electorates respectively. He was a businessman before he become politicians and continued until his death last month.
Roy Biyama helped the people around there by buying the eucalyptus oil from them, creating the cash flow and in turn the people brought goods that he provided to meet their needs.
The basic goods include, salt, sugar, kerosene, soap, clothing, towels, plates, cups and cooking pots etc and hardware such as knives and axes, were transported through the hiring of the plane owned by CPG.
The goods were stocked in Late Roy’s warehouse at Balimo, his hometown.
Capt Porusa stressed there was no other service of the sort Mr Biyama was providing and his passing will be a great loss to the people he served with high esteemed.
He also implemented another impact project was to bring in supplies and equipment to clear the bush for the building of the Aiambak High School at Weam in South Fly District.
It was the only service available and people in Middle and South Fly appreciated what he doing.
“Even today no one is providing that kind of service in those two electorates”, Capt Porusa reiterated.
Apart from these challenges nature provides, there are administrative challenges as well that hinder effective service delivery.
The Late MP will be flown on a Chartered flight from Port Moresby to Daru Island, accompanied by Minister for Civil Aviation and South Fly MP Hon. Seki Agisa, Western Governor Hon. Taboi Awi Yoto MP and North Fly MP Hon. James Donald enroute Balimo.
His body will be than received by awaiting DDA members, police, NGOs, business house reps, family members and general public and convey to Balimo town.